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Proceedings Paper

Tactile feedback to the palm using arbitrarily shaped DEA
Author(s): Holger Mößinger; Henry Haus; Michaela Kauer; Helmut F. Schlaak
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Paper Abstract

Tactile stimulation enhances user experience and efficiency in human machine interaction by providing information via another sensory channel to the human brain. DEA as tactile interfaces have been in the focus of research in recent years. Examples are (vibro-) tactile keyboards or Braille displays. These applications of DEA focus mainly on interfacing with the user’s fingers or fingertips only – demonstrating the high spatial resolution achievable with DEA. Besides providing a high resolution, the flexibility of DEA also allows designing free form surfaces equipped with single actuators or actuator matrices which can be fitted to the surface of the human skin. The actuators can then be used to provide tactile stimuli to different areas of the body, not to the fingertips only. Utilizing and demonstrating this flexibility we designed a free form DEA pad shaped to fit into the inside of the human palm. This pad consists of four single actuators which can provide e.g. directional information such as left, right, up and down. To demonstrate the value of such free form actuators we manufactured a PC-mouse using 3d printing processes. The actuator pad is mounted on the back of the mouse, resting against the palm while operating it. Software on the PC allows control of the vibration patterns displayed by the actuators. This allows helping the user by raising attention to certain directions or by discriminating between different modes like “pick” or “manipulate”. Results of first tests of the device show an improved user experience while operating the PC mouse.

Paper Details

Date Published: 8 March 2014
PDF: 8 pages
Proc. SPIE 9056, Electroactive Polymer Actuators and Devices (EAPAD) 2014, 90563C (8 March 2014); doi: 10.1117/12.2045302
Show Author Affiliations
Holger Mößinger, Technische Univ. Darmstadt (Germany)
Henry Haus, Technische Univ. Darmstadt (Germany)
Michaela Kauer, Technische Univ. Darmstadt (Germany)
Helmut F. Schlaak, Technische Univ. Darmstadt (Germany)


Published in SPIE Proceedings Vol. 9056:
Electroactive Polymer Actuators and Devices (EAPAD) 2014
Yoseph Bar-Cohen, Editor(s)

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